PLASASEBO, Japan – Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Warrior (MCM 10) conducted a change of command ceremony July 25.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Biggs relieved Lt. Cmdr. Kevin McCormick as commanding officer of Warrior, which is currently forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
“In April of last year MCM 10 arrived in Sasebo to serve a new crew like she has done many times before, but this crew is different, this will be the crew that will sail her for the remainder of her days at sea,” said McCormick. “It has been a true honor and privilege to serve aboard Warrior and to witness as our crew established a legacy of pride and professionalism.”
The guest speaker for the ceremony was Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, who spoke of the outstanding service of not only McCormick, but the Sailors who serve aboard Warrior as well.
“Today we are here to recognize the many accomplishments of Lt. Cmdr. McCormick, but more importantly we are here to celebrate the highlights and accomplishments of the exceptional Sailors who make up her crew,” said Wetherald. “The reason I am here today is because I have seen few ships that have impressed me more than Warrior, and I have seen few crews who have invested ownership of their ship more than that of the crew.”
During McCormick’s time as commanding officer he oversaw the transfer of Warrior to the 7th Fleet area of reasonability to relieve USS Guardian (MCM 5). He also oversaw the achievement of an outstanding score of 97 percent during the ships Performance and Readiness Review, and the successful completion of a Dry-Docking Ship’s Restricted Availability during which $7 million worth of repairs and improvements were made to Warriors mobility and combat systems.
“When I look at the success of a command tour I look at whether a commanding officer left the command better than when they inherited it, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that McCormick accomplished this and I am confident that Biggs will continue Warriors success,” said Wetherald. “You do not become a commanding officer from seniority. You become commanding officer from a record of proven leadership and such is the case with Warrior’s oncoming commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Robert Biggs.”
Biggs, who previously served as the executive officer of Warrior, began his Navy career as an enlisted Sailor in 1990 and rose through the ranks to become the commanding officer of a ship.
“If someone were to have told me in 1990 that one day I would become a commanding officer I would have been in disbelief,” said Biggs. “I have had the benefit of tremendous guidance and leadership from so many officers, chiefs and first classes that helped me push myself and get to where I am today.”
Biggs said that he often reflects on his time as an enlisted Sailor to help make the best decisions possible to benefit the crew.
“At times I draw upon my perceptions of what it was like to go through something as a junior Sailor and I bring that to the table on which course of action to take,” said Biggs. “We also have a fantastic chief’s mess and command master chief to help understand what it means for the deck plate level.”
Biggs is certain that the crew of Warrior is capable to meet any challenges they may face while under his command.
“This is the best crew that I have ever served with and my confidence in their ability cannot be higher,” said Biggs “Whatever they are directed to do they will meet the standards because of their efforts.”
Warrior provides the 7th Fleet with mine countermeasures operations including hunting, sweeping and neutralizing mines throughout the Pacific.